Author Interview : Deepa Chandrasekaran
Ravi: What’s your favorite short story?
Deepa: I love this story –
Once a little boy and his father went to see elephants in an elephant camp. The little boy was very excited as he had never seen an elephant and always wondered how the trainers kept them under control. When they reached the camp, the boy observed that there were many giant elephants and all of them were standing in their place very peacefully, making no attempt to free themselves.
When he saw more closely, he noticed that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. If elephants wanted, at any time, they could break away from their bonds, but for some reason, they did not.
The boy went to the trainer in the camp and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller, we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, they were unable to break free of that rope. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”
I love this story as it reflects what most of us go through. We are all conditioned to believe certain things as we were growing up, these become our beliefs, basically what we believe to be true. It is said – “We make our beliefs and then beliefs make us”! They impact various aspects of our life like career, work, money, time, success, family, happiness and if these are not empowering us, they could in fact become potential blockers that stop us from living the best version of our lives.
Ravi: The best piece of writing advice?
Deepa: If you ever wanted to write, the best time to do that is NOW. Start small, so if you want to publish a book someday, start by writing at least a couple of lines every day and gradually increase it to a paragraph, a page, an article, and one fine day you will write a book.
Ravi: Where do you write?
Deepa: Writing for me originates in the mind where the ideas and stories develop. I make a note of the ideas popping up in my head anywhere that I can (in a memo, notepad, post it – whatever is available). Once I have the idea and the rough content, I can start writing anytime and anywhere. In most cases, my best writing happens late at night.
Ravi: Where do you get your ideas?
Deepa: My ideas come from some fantastic discussions I have with my clients, colleagues, family, and friends. One of the major sources is by being observant to life around which includes people, circumstances, events. Being present to my inner voice and thoughts also helps with idea generation.
Ravi: Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Deepa: Writing sets me free. It is a stress buster and energy booster.
Ravi: How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Deepa: It took me around 3 months to write my first book!
Ravi: If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?
Deepa: I would have spent the time to work on my vocabulary, joined formal writing classes, and overcome the inner voice that kept saying, “You are not a good writer, don’t try it”.
Instead, I would have just started writing at a very early age.
Ravi: What is your favorite childhood book?
Deepa: I have read books like Chandamama, Nandan, Champak, Reader’s Digest, and then graduated to Enid Blytons at a very young age.
Ravi: What are your favorite literary journals?
Deepa: I don’t follow any.
Ravi: What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
Deepa: I would stop judging myself and my writing. It’s a journey and its important to get going.
Ravi: What was your hardest scene to write?
Deepa: My book is based on the system that I have created to help Corporate Leaders accelerate their careers called the “Career Accelerator Formula”. Just getting started to write was the hardest, once I started, it just kept flowing.
Ravi: Do you Google yourself?
Deepa: Yes, it's important to know my Brand.
Ravi: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Deepa: Yes, people can find the secret if they implement everything that I have mentioned in my book 😊
Ravi: Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Deepa: Yes, I do, reviews help to see what the readers have been able to relate to. Any feedback is useful as it helps to improve my next writing.
Ravi: Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?
Deepa: Growing up, I read a lot of fiction, mostly suspense novels, sometimes I got so absorbed that I did not get up until I had finished it 😊 I was so amazed at the creativity of these authors who could create such amazing plots that would engage the audience right through.
Off late I have been fascinated by authors like Robin Sharma and Amish Tripathi who have given a new perspective to fiction. While Robin’s books have a message through the story, Amish’s handling of figures and deities from Indian mythology and giving them a humanized treatment has been a very new style!
Ravi: What did you edit out of this book?
Deepa: Nothing Much!
Ravi: How many hours a day do you write?
Deepa: I spent close to 4-5 hours when I was writing my book.
Ravi: How long were you a part-time writer before you became a full-time one?
Deepa: I had been writing short articles and posts for a couple of years before I published my first book. I am still a part-time writer and enjoy writing 😊
Ravi: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Deepa: My book “Career Accelerator Formula” is based on my program which is a proven transformation system that attempts to provide a roadmap to embark on a journey of transformation and success. Since the program has been built by me, I know all the details about the program.
This program is a result of my two decades of corporate experience of leading large teams, delivering projects to global clients, and working with very senior leaders from the industry. I have also had the pleasure of working with and learning from every individual who has crossed my path.
I am now a Career Transformation Coach and help mid-level corporate leaders find joy, satisfaction, and purpose in their careers. Working with my clients has given me lot of insights and ideas that have been a part of my preparation for my book too!
Thus, I would say, the research has been ongoing for the last 2 decades and this book is the output of that experience.
Ravi: What’s the best way to market your books?
Deepa: By taking them to Corporate Leaders who could potentially use the learning from the book to grow in their careers.
Final year students who are looking to step into the IT world could also benefit immensely from the book. My book is available on amazon
Ravi: How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Deepa: I have a couple of ideas for my next book, however they exist in my head right now.
Ravi: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Deepa: It has given me the self-confidence that becoming an author is simple and possible. We just need to stay focused and consistent to be able to take it to closure.
It has also given me the confidence that I can write many more books in the future.
Ravi: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Deepa: Don’t wait to become perfect or the “right time” before you can start writing. Write more and write more often to initiate the process.
Ravi: What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Deepa: I have had the opportunity to know many authors who have done some amazing work. They have very different writing styles and very unique stories, that captivates their audience and keeps them engaged.
Learning about their journeys, insights, challenges during the process of writing and publishing helps me to learn from their experiences and apply them to my writing process as well.
Ravi: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Deepa: I kept my audience in my mind while writing my book and made sure that the content was easily understandable and implementable.
Ravi: What advice do you have for writers?
Deepa: While growing up I never dreamt that I could be an author, but I am now. So, if I can be an author, anyone can be too. All the challenges that we keep telling ourselves are creations of our own mind and are mostly excuses that stop us from taking a step forward.
“If it's in the head, its dead” and “We should all die empty” – both these quotes essentially mean that there is no point in having ideas and dreams in the head when we die.
So, if you want to be an author, just go ahead and start writing. There might be some challenges on the way, and you can handle them when they come!
Ravi: What are the most important magazines for writers to subscribe to?
Deepa: I don’t follow any, just go with my gut and intuition.
Ravi: Tell me about your recent book to our Ravi Reads Blog Readers?
Deepa: Career Stagnancy is becoming one of the major challenges in today’s corporate world. With reduced opportunities, only the best can progress in their careers at a good pace. This leads to frustration, dissatisfaction, demotivation, and low morale all around.
My book Career Accelerator Formula is a proven transformation system that attempts to provide a roadmap to embark on a journey of transformation and success. It provides an individual, who is committed to excel in their careers, a structured path of moving forward.
This book has been written keeping in view the core skills required to succeed in today’s disruptive times. This book has several distinctive features. These include the following:
The content is divided into chapters
Can be used as a workbook
Provides practical tools to implement the knowledge gained
Doesn’t necessarily need to be read sequentially
Can be read and implemented by anyone who is looking to work on their career progression
I am confident that with the above features, readers will find this book extremely useful and rewarding for them.
To Know more about Deepas's Career Accelerator Formula check out this link
Thanks to Deepa for agreeing to this interview! If you know of an author who’d like to be featured in an interview (or you are an author who would like to be featured), feel free to email me at the address on my contact page.